A Full Review of Beyond Meat's Latest Product, Beyond Meatballs

Beyond Meat always goes beyond our expectations.

Beyond Meat produces plant-based meat that is eerily similar to real meat. You may know them from the famous Beyond Burgers served at A&W, but Beyond Meat offers more than just burgers. Beyond Meat produces Beyond Breakfast Sausage, Beyond Beef (ground), Beyond Sausage, Beyond Beef Crumbles and most recently, Beyond Meatballs.

While a number of vegan meatball replacements are already available, very few are soy and gluten-free. As a gluten-free vegan, I can't tell you how excited I was when I heard the announcement, but I was also nervous. Beyond Meat has set the bar very high for itself. What if it didn't meet my expectations? Here is my full review of Beyond Meatballs, and let me tell you, you need to know how they stack up to the real thing.

The Company

Ethan Brown, Founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, started the California-based company in 2009. The mission statement on their website states, "We believe there is a better way to feed our future and that the positive choices we all make, no matter how small, can have a great impact on our personal health and the health of our planet." It is a fact that plant-based alternatives are better for the environment and animals. Plant-based alternatives use less land, water and energy than animal meat. Beyond Meat uses non-GMO and straightforward ingredients to create plant-based meats that taste like and have greater or equal protein levels to real meat. The result is an innovative alternative to eating animal meats. Whether you're a plant-based eater or not, many people have raved about Beyond Meat products.

Beyond Meat: Burger

(via Beyond Meat)

 

Nutrition Information

The Beyond Meat Meatballs are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and kosher. The serving size is five meatballs with 19g plant protein, 21g fat, 9g carbs, 110mg calcium, 4.9mg iron and no added sugar. The protein comes from pea and rice protein and the fat comes from canola and coconut oil. All the ingredients are non-GMO.

Beyond Meat: meatball package

(via Beyond Meat)

 

Cooking

There are three ways you can cook Beyond Meatballs. You can cook them in a skillet, bake them in an oven or simmer them in a sauce. I chose to bake them in the oven and then toss them with tomato-basil sauce. I pulled the meatballs out of the package and they definitely looked like the real deal. They were slightly red and brown and shaped into perfect spheres. The uncooked texture was slightly dryer than authentic meatballs, but that changed as they cooked. The high-fat content from coconut and canola oil melted in the heat, so they resemble the real meatballs' juice. The meatballs cooked fast, in 12 minutes, and tossed quickly in the sauce.

Beyond Meat: meatball subs

(via Beyond Meat)

 

Taste and Texture

My first thought was, "Did I accidentally grab real meatballs?" Beyond Meatballs taste identical to the real deal. Beyond Meat adds a delicious Italian spice mix that mimics the authentic flavor of classic meatballs. I tried one meatball plain to make sure it wasn't coming from the sauce, and it tasted delicious on its own. They absorbed the sauce nicely and maintained their shape, and broke apart like real meatballs when cut with a knife. The texture was almost perfect and the only real difference between the Beyond Meatballs and original meatballs is the weight of the product. Beyond Meatballs felt lighter than real meatballs, which are traditionally very dense. It also wasn't as fatty as traditional meatballs, which Beyond Meat wanted when they created them. It has less saturated fat than its counterparts so that it would taste lighter and healthier. I gave one meatball to a family member who's not vegan, and they couldn't believe it was!

Beyond Meat: meatball gyros

(via Beyond Meat)

 

Final Thoughts

If you're a plant-based eater who wants an authentic-tasting meat replacement or a flexitarian that wants to include more plant-based food in your diet without sacrificing the taste, Beyond Meatballs should be in your fridge. I was shocked by how good they tasted and pleasantly surprised by how well it cooked. Plant-based eaters who don't like meat's taste should stick to the black-bean and lentil alternatives because Beyond Meatballs are very similar to the real stuff. Simmer Beyond Meatballs in a tomato sauce with spaghetti or use them for a classic meatball sub. The possibilities are limitless.

Beyond meat: meatballs and spaghetti

(via Beyond Meat)

 

Are you looking for more plant-based treats? Check out the definitive ranking of the most popular vegan ice creams.